End of Summer Holiday Wishlist

Saturday, 31 August 2013
hol
1. Sunglasses - River Island
2. Bikini - Bon Prix
3. Earrings - Topshop
4. Beach Bag - Boohoo
5. Flip Flops - Accessorize
6. Beach Dress - Bon Prix

It's scary how fast summer seems to have come and gone. It also feels a little bit odd looking at bikinis and flip flops when it's September tomorrow, however I'm off on my holidays at the end of the month so I thought I would put together a little holiday wishlist. I'm going to be filming a holiday clothing haul video soon as I'm building up quite a collection of holiday clothes. Still, there's always room for a bit more, right?!

Firstly, I saw the River Island sunglasses a couple of days ago and immediately fell in love. I usually go for really in-your-face, brightly coloured/floral sunglasses but I love how classic and sophisticated this pair are, as well as being really retro and cool. I'm obsessed with this bikini from Bon Prix, and would totally buy it if I hadn't already built up quite a collection! I adore the candy pink colour of it and the cute flower detailing is so me. I love wearing big dangly earrings on holiday so when I saw these in the sale from Topshop I thought they'd be perfect. I don't think there's anything better than getting dolled up at night on holiday, and these would look amazing with a summer dress! I'm still in need of a bag for the beach, and when I saw this one on Boohoo I thought it looked like the perfect beach bag. I'm not entirely sure if it's meant for the beach, but I love it anyway! Another sale bargain, Accessorize never fail when it comes to holiday footwear and these pretty flipflops would be perfect if only they had my size in stock! Finally, I think this tie-dye dress from Bon Prix would be perfect for covering up on the beach. I'm in desperate need of some beach dresses for holiday so this would be ideal! 

Are you heading away anywhere in September? Do you have all your holiday clothes ready? Let me know! 

*This is a sponsored post*

Bumble and Bumble Surf Range

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Summer has been in full swing lately, and over the gorgeous summer we've been having I have been absolutely loving Bumble and Bumble's Surf range. I've never used Bumble and Bumble before but I'd heard amazing things so I was really excited to try it. During the summer months I'm always lusting after those 'beach babe' waves and texture, and I've never been able to recreate it for myself (apart from, you know, going to an actual beach). I'd heard a lot of good things about the Surf Spray so when I was sent out the spray, along with the Surf Shampoo and Conditioner, I couldn't wait to give them a go. 

Basically, I'm in love with this range. To begin with I was a little dubious, assuming that it's near impossible to get that beachy textured look through hair products alone, but how wrong I was. This range is absolutely brilliant if you're looking for a textured, mussed up style. It leaves my hair looking and feeling super texturised, with lots of body and oompth. It gives a gorgeous beachy look that I've tried so hard in the past to recreate, to no avail. Whilst it does sometimes make my hair feel a tad dry, you really can't beat the texturised surf effect it gives. 

I'm in love with all the products but think if you're looking for a quick fix texturised look, opt for the Surf Spray. I find it really refreshing to have found a hair care range that actually does what it's supposed to do, so I'm definitely looking forward to trying more Bumble and Bumble in the future! 

Have you tried the Surf range from Bumble and Bumble? What did you think to it?

Midsummer Fairytales

Tuesday, 27 August 2013
Dress*: Chi Chi
Earrings: Topshop

I've been meaning to post about this beautiful Chi Chi dress for absolutely ages now. It's a stunning embroidered number that reminds me of fairies and midsummer - it has a really ethereal feel to it. I feel a little bit like a fairy wearing it in all honesty, and I think I prefer going barefoot in it than wearing heels (although I do have a pair that would go perfectly with it). I paired it with my amazing flamingo earrings from Topshop that I got in the sale a while ago, and felt that was all it needed - the dress does all the talking here. The detailing on it is stunning and I also think it will see me through the winter really well too, with a nice pair of black tights. 

Today I celebrated my 23rd birthday! I'm not entirely sure how I feel about being 23; it feels as though time is moving too quickly and I feel like I have so much I want to achieve. Getting older is scary - I still feel very much like a little girl and the prospect of having to stand on my own two feet and be a grown up scares me so much! Does anyone else feel like this?!

I'm going to be filming a video on the presents I got as well as doing a little post on them, so expect to see that soon. I'm also currently editing a Primark haul that I'm hoping to get up asap. If you haven't subscribed to me on YouTube yet, check out my videos here

I hope everyone had a lovely Bank Holiday and you are all enjoying the last few days of summer!

My Favourite Face Scrubs

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

I have to admit, I do love a good scrub. Having oily, acne-prone skin which is ridden with blackheads has always meant me and exfoliating scrubs were bound to become the best of friends. If I don't use exfoliating scrubs regularly, the texture of my skin becomes really rough and my pores become more visible, along with the unwelcome appearance of blackheads aplenty. Therefore, I make sure I exfoliate once a week, at the bare minimum. I find twice, or, sometimes, three times a week works well for me, but remember over-exfoliating is never good. Luckily I've found some absolute gems of exfoliators in the past that I just had to share with you. 

First up; Soap & Glory's Greatest Scrub of All. This is definitely a long-time favourite for me. It helps to minimise the appearance of pores and smooth the skin, with 'smooth-boosting spheres' that actually pop open when pressed. Although it might be a little bit of a gimmick, I find these spheres really give the scrub a little something extra and I always get good results from using this product. It also contains Salicylic Acid, one of my absolute favourite spot-fighting ingredients. 

The Avon Clearskin Pore Penetrating Invigorating Scrub* is a new addition to my scrub collection, and has become another firm favourite. The really fine particles in this help to buff the skin deep down and give my skin a really thorough cleanse. I find it's really similar to my absolute all-time favourite scrub, the Boots Botanics Microdermabrasion Polish, which also has really fine, sand-like particles which finely scrub the skin and get deep down into my pores. I've seen a tremendous difference in my skin since using this scrub, and you can read my full review on it here. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative however, I think the Avon scrub is great - and it's currently an absolute bargain at £2! 

Finally, the Simple Oil Balancing Facial Scrub. I really like that this scrub specifically targets shine, as well as removing blackheads. It's quite a thick scrub, certainly in comparison to the previous two, so it doesn't feel as though it exfoliates my skin too deeply, but would probably be better for sensitive skins. It also contains Witch Hazel, which is always an ingredient I can get behind. When I use the Simple Exfoliating Wash I like to use this alongside it. This one is probably my least favourite of the four, but nevertheless I'm still a fan of it. 

I adore using exfoliating scrubs and I've definitely converted to preferring the finer exfoliants to the thick, beaded types. Are you a fan of exfoliating scrubs? Have you tried any of the ones I've mentioned? Let me know!

Birthday Wishlist

Tuesday, 20 August 2013
wishlist
1. Raising Unicorns - Urban Outfitters
2. Embellished Owl Bag - Accessorize
3. Makeup Bag - Ted Baker
4. Lipsticks - Lime Crime
5. Purse - ASOS
6. Dress - Topshop

As it's my birthday in exactly a week's time, I decided I'd put together a little birthday wishlist post. A couple of these things I know will be firmly in my grasp come next Tuesday, whilst the others I can only hope I'll be lucky enough to get. I spotted the 'Raising Unicorns' book on Urban Outfitters a couple of weeks ago and instantly fell in love. I'm obsessed with unicorns and infatuated with reading so of course, this present makes perfect sense! I stumbled across Oscar the amaaazing embellished owl bag the other day on Accessorize and actually gasped at the screen when I saw him. He is the most beautiful bag I've ever seen - I've been lusting after an owl bag for ages, and the fact he is embellished beautifully too means he'll be perfect to parade about at winter parties. I was going to sit tight and hope someone would get the hint and get me him, but I've taken matters into my own hands after I saw there were only four left in stock. There are now only three, so if you want him - go get him now! 

I didn't realise until I'd finished putting this wishlist together that I've already included this very same Ted Baker makeup bag in a previous wishlist, but that just goes to show how much I want it. My sisters getting me it thankfully and I can't wait to perch it on my dressing table! Speaking of makeup, I've been lusting after some Lime Crime lippies for absolutely ages now, and I won't rest until Airborne Unicorn and Babette are in my grasp - so pretty! I'm a bit down in the dumps about this beautiful mint purse, as it's actually sold out and doesn't look like ASOS will be getting anymore in. If you've seen one similar, please let me know, I'm heartbroken it won't be mine! Finally, this sweetie tea dress from Topshop is like my dream come true - perfect for summer and winter with the cutest print ever. I NEED it! 

What do you make to my birthday wishlist? Here's hoping I'll have a few of these things this time next week!

Ted Baker Lilcon Bag

Monday, 19 August 2013

When it comes to accessories, I am most definitely a bag person, and despite already owning many, many bags, I just cannot resist adding more and more to my collection. I think a bag can complete an outfit, add a little extra as well as obviously being extremely practical for housing all of my belongings. I think if I had the money I would honestly have a bag to go with every outfit - I just can't resist a pretty handbag. 

Some of my favourite brands when it comes to handbags have got to be Marc B, Cath Kidston, and, of course, Ted Baker. I've always loved Ted Baker bags, and finally managed to get my hands on one a couple of years ago in the Fairy print that has served me very well since. I was recently sent the yellow and pink Lilcon bag from Surfdome, a stockist of Ted Baker's gorgeous offerings. I've been lusting after one of the yellow and pink Ted Baker bags since I spied them at the start of the summer in a department store, and as I have one of the bigger bags I thought I'd opt for a cute little bag, ideal for popping my purse, phone and makeup bag in. I adore the yellow and pink candy colours together and just think they are super girly and sweet. I also LOVE the smell of Ted Baker's bags, as odd as that sounds! 

I've been loving using this recently, as it goes so well with my summer outfits. I'm always looking to add more Ted Baker bits to my collection, and I'm currently in desperate need of a Ted Baker makeup bag, which, fingers crossed, I'll be getting for my birthday next week. I also really want a pair of the flip flops for my holiday but I'll probably have to refrain from getting them just yet!

Are you a fan of Ted Baker bags? Let me know which you have in your collection! 

My Everyday Makeup

Sunday, 18 August 2013
My Everyday Makeup
Primark Fluttery Lashes (not pictured)
H & M Bronzer

After a fair few requests, I decided to bite the bullet and upload my 'everyday makeup' routine on YouTube. I was a bit apprehensive to begin with as my skin is definitely not the best and I'm a bit self-conscious about putting my bare face online but I decided to just go for it. I'm definitely not the type to like 'barely there makeup', and really love looking made-up, hence there being a fair few products included in this video! I thought I'd link them all for you on here in case you wanted more details on them specifically.

I know everyone on YouTube says this, but I am by no means a pro when it comes to makeup, I don't generally do things by the book but prefer to do what works for me. I've still got a lot to learn makeup-wise but yeah, you guys wanted to see this video so here you go - I really hope you like it! Don't forget to subscribe to my channel here and let me know if you'd like to see more tutorial-type videos :) 

Topshop Nail Art Brushes

Thursday, 15 August 2013

If you've been a long-time reader of my blog you'll know I have a bit of a thing for nail art. I find it strangely therapeutic, and love experimenting with new designs and colours. Okay, so sometimes my designs don't work out quite like I'd planned, but that's all part of the learning process I guess! I adore doing floral nails, can't get enough of leopard print and have a penchant for cupcake-themed designs. 

The thing is, until recently it's been pretty hard to get hold of any nail art tools on the highstreet. The majority of my nail art collection comes from the likes of Ebay and Models Own nail art pens, and I wouldn't have the first clue where to begin when it comes to brushes. Recently, however, Topshop launched a range of nail art brushes in a stunning hot pink design (of course), that have changed my nail art world forever. The addition of brushes into my nail art collection has meant I can get so much more creative with my designs, and the brushes in the two sets I was sent are so varied there are a plethora of nail art options to choose from. There's the obligatory dotting tool, perfect for doing polkadot nails, sponges for ombre designs, and lots of brushes of different shapes and sizes to get designing with. 

These two sets are absolutely brilliant if you're a nail art fiend like I am, and they are certainly a welcome addition to my collection. They're not a bad price either I don't think, and will definitely set you up for some serious nail art practice. They've completely reignited my love for nail art and I hope to get back into posting some designs on here very soon! 

Are you a fan of nail art? Do you have a big nail art kit or do you prefer to improvise?

What Did I Buy Today?

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Like a lot of bloggers out there, I'm a bit of a spendaholic. I can't resist a shopping trip, spend my life frittering away my money online and am completely hopeless when it comes to saving. I'm a sucker for a bargain, literally live in Primark and can never say no to a meal out. Of course, this means that my bank balance regularly takes a bit of a beating, and frankly it's been getting me down.

Despite working full time I find myself spending all my earnings, leaving no room to save. I've made it my mission this year to get better with money, and promised myself I would write everything I buy down. I bought a notebook, hopelessly tried to work out a way of writing down my spends without getting confused (I'm very easily confused) and quickly gave up.

That's when I stumbled across this book on Amazon. 'What I Buy Today?' is described as an 'Obsessive Consumption Journal', perfect for shopaholics like me who just can't resist, well, spending. On the back of the book it described its premise; for you to log every single thing you buy, from the tiny spends to the big splurges, in the hope of becoming more aware of just how much you're spending. You start off by filling out what savings you have, what outgoings you have every month, and writing down the totals, followed by listing your 'small' and 'big' goals. There are also weekly challenges featured in the book with things such as 'Pack a lunch' and 'Use only cash', which you can tick off as you go. The majority of the book is filled up with the pages to write down your spendings however, which are sectioned off week-by-week alongside a blank page to write down any notes. The book urges you to explain why you bought what you did, and how it made you feel, in true journal-style. Throughout the book there are also pages to highlight what you 'Saved' money on and what you 'Splurged' on. All of the pages feature cute illustrations and the book is just the right size to fit in your handbag, so you can keep an eye on all your spends.

I've been using this book for around a month now and it's definitely making a difference to how I spend my money. I usually buy frivolously, without a second thought to how much it's all adding up to, but this book lets me put it all in perspective. It's really fulfilling to learn that I might have saved X amount one week, or completed one of my 'goals'. At the end of the book is your 'Annual Report', where you look back on the year and what you spent, whether you saved and anything you've learnt. I really hope I'll be pleased with how I do once I've finished the book, but for now it's really helping me with my spending obsession!

Do you keep a diary of what you spend? 

Crazy for Coconut

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Whenever we're in the depths of summer, I tend to reignite a long-running love affair with coconut. As much as I love the scent all year round, during the summer months it becomes its most poignant, invoking holiday memories and dreams of the exotic. I'm a big fan of The Body Shop and as they seem to always have a plethora of offers on, I couldn't resist purchasing a trio of coconut goodies to accompany me through the summer months.

As the body butters were half price at £6.50 when I placed my order, I decided I couldn't bypass trying the Coconut Shimmer Body Butter. I love a bit of a shimmer on my limbs over the summer, so I felt this would be perfect for achieving that whilst hydrating my skin. I'm making a conscious effort to be more diligent with moisturising on a daily basis, so this is ideal. It smells divine, leaves my skin thoroughly moisturised and gives a subtle sheen that I think everyone would get on with. It isn't too glittery so even the biggest shimmer-phobes shouldn't have a problem with this.

Next up, I decided to purchase the Coconut Beautifying Oil, as I'm a big fan of oils at the moment and this sounded great, as it's the ultimate multi-tasker. It was £9 but I got 40% off with a code. It can be used on the hair, body and face, smells just as beautiful as the body butter and is really rich in texture. I'm yet to use it on my face, but it feels gorgeous on the skin and has definitely improved the condition of my hair. No, it's no Moroccan Oil, but its definitely a treat for the skin/hair that smells just like holiday.

Finally, my main reason for ordering off The Body Shop in the first place, was to try out the Coconut Body Mist. Now, I've been lusting after Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess perfume for quite some time now, but not willing to part with the cash I went on the hunt for cheaper alternatives. I'd heard that The Body Shop's Coconut EDT/Body Mist smelt pretty similar at a snippet of the price so I bit the bullet and ordered it. It's usually £7.50 for 100ml but again, I used my sneaky 40% off code. It smells completely delicious; very similar to the Estee Lauder offering, and perfect for over the summer to give that tropical holiday vibe. I've been wearing it every day since I got it and I really love it, although I wish it was a touch more long-lasting!

Overall I'm really impressed with my Body Shop Coconut purchases and think they are absolutely perfect for over the summer. Are you a fan of The Body Shop's Coconut range? They are currently offering 35% off when you buy 2 items or more with the code 14672 - and they pretty much always have various offers on!

Everybody Wants to be a Cat

Monday, 12 August 2013
 
Collar Necklace*: Accessorize 
Bracelets: H & M
Ring*: Cheap Frills
Earrings*: Hey Sailor 
Shoes: Primark

Hi guys! Apologies for the sporadic posting of late, I need to get back into the swing of things! I also really want to get posting regular videos on YouTube but thanks to my camera giving up on me it's not been able to happen. Luckily I invested in a new one over the weekend so hopefully the much-requested everyday makeup routine video will be up soon! 

This weekend was lovely and sunny, ideal for taking outfit pics, so me and my boyfriend headed out to show off my amazing dress from Drop Dead Clothing. I've actually had this dress for a while now but it was hiding in the back of my wardrobe, such a shame as it's so pretty and unique. I'm totally a dog person at heart but you have to admit these cats are pretty damn cute! I love everything on Drop Dead, currently lusting after their donut items! I paired it with my trusty Primark trainers, the H & M bracelets I refuse to take off and a couple of pieces of jewellery I've been sent recently. The skull ring featured a little while ago in a post and I've been wearing both colours constantly over the summer. The little crown earrings are the cutest things ever from Hey Sailor, they remind me a bit of Vivienne Westwood but they're only £3! The collar necklace is absolutely stunning and from the one and only Accessorize. I think it totally completes this outfit! 

I wanted to make my portrait images a bit bigger on here so that I'm less restricted with the photos I take. I always use landscape ones and portrait are so much better for outfit posts, so I hope you like! I hope everyone is having a good week so far! 

Amie Perfect Beauty Giftset

Sunday, 11 August 2013

I only recently discovered the natural skincare brand Amie and I'm so glad I did. As soon as I saw the packaging and heard about the brand's philosophy I was sold; cutesy packaging, totally natural and free from harsh chemicals - hooray! 

As you probably know if you're a regular reader of my blog, I have a big thing for skincare, but especially cheap skincare. I truly believe if a product works for me it really shouldn't matter what the price tag is - that goes for cheap and expensive things. I do, however, love hunting out a good skincare bargain and can regularly be seen perusing the Superdrug skincare aisle. I've tried both high-end and cheaper skincare products in the past and most certainly don't think cheap means bad - on the contrary, the majority of 'drugstore' skincare products I've tried have blown me away. It's just a case of choosing the right ones! 

Which leads me on to Amie. This exciting brand has a big range of skincare products targeted at predominantly young skin. I love that they've recognised that younger skin shouldn't be plastered in all these harsh chemicals, and have solved that problem by including only natural ingredients. Growing up I felt surrounded by skincare products that stung and dried out my skin, making it tight and sore, and only making my acne worse. Amie is nothing like those brands and is totally gentle on the skin - I definitely wish it had been around when I was a teen!

I was recently sent their Perfect Beauty Giftset to give me a chance to try out a few of their best-selling products for myself. The kit is £19.95 and features four products, packaged in a cute see-through wash bag. They've kept the packaging cute whilst in-keeping with the natural theme, and the products certainly look pretty on my bathroom shelf. I love every single product in this set. I've been using the cleanser religiously since I got it and it's made a big difference to my skin, and is so nice and gentle on my skin. The exfoliator is great and thoroughly cleansing and removing the dirt from my pores, whilst being soothing. I've been using the eye makeup remover every night for a few months now and it works brilliantly, and I still have loads left in the bottle. I've not used the moisturiser too much as I've had so many to try but the times I have tried it I've been very impressed! It gives a matte-finish which is always what I look for in a moisturiser.

Overall I am so impressed with these products and will definitely be repurchasing them when they run out. I particularly love the cleanser as it's made a big difference to my skin. I think this kit is ideal for oily/acne-prone skins and well worth the price! 

Favourite Apps

Saturday, 10 August 2013
 
 
I've seen a few people post about their favourite apps in the past and I always love discovering new ones so I thought I'd have a run through mine. Now, I'm pretty much never without my iPhone, and I'm actually not quite sure where I'd be without it. It keeps me occupied on train journies, helps me in my 'attempts' to get organised, and obviously helps me keep in the loop with social media and the blogging world. As well as, you know, being able to make calls and send texts and stuff. Ahem. It surprises me so much when people say they don't 'do' the apps thing, or even have a smart phone. Smart phones are such a big thing right now, there are even whole websites devoted to them. When I think back to what mobiles used to be like, with my black and white 5110 in it's battered Tigger case, it really amazes me how far we've come with technology. 

Anyway, I'm a bit addicted to discovering new apps and pride myself on my little organised folders where I store my apps in categories. It's really easy to do, and makes things a lot simpler when it comes to finding the apps you need! I have a LOT of game apps, but the ones I used most are probably more lifestyle/productivity based.

First up - one of my all-time favourite apps, Bloglovin'. I love keeping up to date with the blogs I follow but it can be pretty tricky on my phone, so Bloglovin' is the ideal app for keeping on top of the latest posts. I'm on it constantly and find it really simple to navigate and easy to use. I also think it's fab for discovering new blogs and I've found quite a few through looking on there. Evernote is a fairly recent discovery that I wouldn't be without now. Basically it's the ultimate list/note-keeping app; you get notebooks which you store 'notes' in, to help you keep on top of things. I generally use mine write to do lists, and have several different notebooks to keep things separate; blog, misc, work, life and YouTube. You can tick off things when you've done them too which is pretty satisfying! 

I'm a total foodie so of course I have a section dedicated to food apps on my phone. I'm a big fan of the Domino's app when I'm out and about (I'm not local to a Domino's to get deliveries, wah!) as you can get some really good deals on there, and I also wouldn't be without the Pizza Express app. They always have voucher codes on the go on there and I don't think I've ever been to a Pizza Express without getting a biiiig discount on the food. You just show them the code on your phone and you're sorted! 

Of course, I love Pinterest for inspiration, be it fashion, hair, beauty or interior, and love that they've made it even easier to pin things lately. Like with Tumblr (another fave), I could literally spend forever and a day on there! Despite me being a total food-lover, I'm also trying to lose weight and get healthy so fitness and diet apps have become a big part of my life. My Fitness Pal is a brilliant way of keeping on top of what you're eating, and really makes you realise just how many calories there are in things. I used to write everything down in a book and guess calories but this is so much better as you can simply scan a packet and all the info is there. Definitely the best diet app around! I also adore using Run Keeper; I've been getting really into running over the past few months (see my post here), and this app is great at tracking your speed, where you went on your run and how many calories you burnt/how far you ran. It definitely makes you feel good when you see yourself getting steadily faster. I think you can now sync it to My Fitness Pal as well so that when you go for your run it automatically takes the calories you burnt off. Pretty nifty! 

I can't be without my fashion and beauty apps too - I'm talking River Island, Topshop, ASOS, The Body Shop etc. So much easier than having to use a browser, although they can be pretty dangerous when it comes to spending! I've also been getting into magazines on my iPhone a lot lately too, I'm particularly fond of Pixiwoo's 'Two Magazine', which is free to download each month. Definitely worth checking out if you're a beauty junkie/fan of the girls! 

Phew, so they are pretty much all my favourite apps. I could probably go on about apps for days on end, but I've tried to keep it as short as possible (although it's still really long, oops). Are you obsessed with apps as much as me? Let me know which apps you're loving at the moment, I'm always keen to discover new ones!
- brand3 - brand5